Ireland has more deaths per million than USA, but fawning journalists won’t tell you that

One more soft interview from RTÉ and my TV is getting it. Coronavirus coverage by the state broadcaster has so far been typified by obsequious, deferential questioning of government officials from where I’m sitting, with squads of journalists seeming only too happy to make a feel-good impression on Team Ireland.

Prime Time’s Miriam O’Callaghan comes to mind. When she allowed a HSE spokesman to tell the country over a month ago that the tightening of testing criteria was due to too many negative cases being found, the die was cast, as a chirpy, optimistic O’Callaghan never even thought to suggest the sudden axing of waiting lists was down to a shortage of test kits ordered by the health service.

The Irish media have reverted to form, and continue headlong in their idiocy apparently. As they play clips from the USA of Donald Trump being his boastful self, an emperor fiddling while the Big Apple burns (we are led believe), our media outlets have so far failed to put the issue in perspective: our own Nero’s are failing in a more serious way, with a higher death-toll per million than Donald Trump.

Ireland now has 125.68 deaths per million citizens compared with 124.14 in the US.

The negative coverage given to Trump is by design of course, as journalists the world-over try to dig his grave ahead of November’s election, but the dereliction of duty in holding our own political class to account is inexcusable.

If Catholic nuns or brothers had been running the nursing homes from which a majority of Irish coronavirus fatalities have emerged, there would have been hell to pay, but the state’s overturning of visitor restrictions at nursing homes weeks ago has not led to even one call from our commentariat for heads to roll in the HSE.

Simon Harris may also be boosted by his umpteenth photo-op and colour-between-the-lines Q&A, but the harsh reality of facts and statistics lie lurking in the background of these charades. You would scarcely believe he and Leo Varadkar are captaining a more troubled ship than Donald Trump.

It is interesting to note how wary of public opinion they are however, with both men expressing profound “unease” about the recent arrival of Bulgarian workers. Harris also announced that new arrivals to the country will now have to state where they will be self-isolating.

These token gestures by our ruling class might save face and mould hearts, but only because it is facilitated by their friendly messengers in editorial rooms around Dublin. Perhaps when we drop the pretense and breakup these friendly bedfellows will reality slowly be allowed back in.

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